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George Mraz

A native of the Czech Republic, George Mraz was born in 1944. He began his musical studies on violin at age seven and started playing jazz in high school. He attended the Prague Conservatory in 1961 studying bass violin and graduating in 1966.

While studying at the Prague Conservatory Mraz was deeply moved by the Voice Of America radio broadcasts of Willis Conover, who was his connection to a vast new world of possibilities across the ocean. "The first jazz I ever heard was actually Louis Armstrong when I was about twelve years old. They had an hour of his music on one Sunday in between all these light operettas and stuff they played on the radio in the Czech republic (then Czechoslovakia). Then the strange voice of Satchmo singing was quite a shock. 'How can he get away with a voice like that?' I thought. But by the time the hour was over I decided I liked it better than anything I heard that day, so I started looking into jazz”.

"The Voice Of America came on midnight for an hour or so, and my listening equipment wasn't so great, and it was hard to make out the bass. So I was listening to all the instruments, and how it all worked together, rather than just focusing on the bass. I've really been influenced by everything I've heard, but of course I paid special attention to Ray Brown, Scott LaFaro, Paul Chambers, and Ron Carter." Mraz just naturally gravitated towards the music, and became a seasoned veteran of the clubs where he could perform the music that consumed his imagination almost every night. While studying at the Prague Conservatory, George was performing with the top jazz groups in Prague.

After graduating from the Prague Conservatory, George went to Munich and played clubs and concerts throughout Germany and Middle Europe with Benny Bailey, Carmel Jones, Leo Wright, Mal Waldron, Hampton Hawes, Jan Hammer and others. In 1968 George Mraz came to Boston on a scholarship to the Berklee School of Music and played at Lennie's on the Turnpike and the Jazz Workshop with such artists as Clark Terry, Herbie Hancock, Joe Williams and Carmen McRae.In the winter of 1969 George got a call from Dizzy Gillespie to join his group in New York. After a few weeks with Dizzy, George went on the road with Oscar Peterson for about two years. After that he worked with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra for the next six years. In the late seventies George worked with Stan Getz, New York Jazz Quartet, Zoot Sims, Bill Evans, John Abercrombie and for over ten years with Tommy Flanagan.

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bass, acoustic
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Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

A Touch of Radiance

Self Produced
2014

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Maliny Maliny

Promising Music/MPS
2009

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Moravian Gems

Cube-Metier
2008

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Moravian Gems

JJ-Tracks
2007

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George Mraz & Iva...

Unknown label
2007

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Billy Strayhorn: Lush...

Blue Note Records
2007

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